Teaching Children About God’s Love

With the popularity of Valentine’s Day, February can be a great time to teach about God’s love for us and how he wants us to love one another. In many ways this is the basic message that underlines every session: God loves each of us. In our God’s Gift: Reconciliation book, Chapter 6 focuses on the Good Shepherd with the parable of the lost sheep. This is a perfect parable to focus on God’s love […]

The Saintly Catechist

The director of our faith formation program asked if I could help her develop a saints’ syllabus for the eighth- and ninth-grade classes. This was right up my alley. We met for coffee to work on the syllabus, which would complement our regular curriculum. Our discussion turned to the canonization process: how does someone become a saint? As we talked about the steps in the canonization process, I wondered, “What do we have to do […]

Online Book Club Week 10: This Is Not Our Home

Editor’s note: Welcome to the last week of our online book club! We’re reading Jane Knuth’s The Prayer List…and Other True Stories of How Families Pray. This week we focus on chapters 28, 29, and the epilogue. Learn more about the book club here. “Two Toms” and “Praying with a Mother’s Heart” are two chapters that broke my heart. They are stories of prayer, faith, doubt, great love, and great loss. Love and loss are […]

Lent: A Season of Love

I love February 14! When I was a child, Valentine’s Day was the day that I would share funny cards and candy and other treats. Even today, those small, heart-shaped sugar candies that I would hand out (and receive) from my “sweethearts” still bring a smile to my face. Even though I’m older, I still take the opportunity on Valentine’s Day to show the people I love how much I care about them by sending […]

Catechists as Echoes (Part II): Echoes of Love

This article is the second in a series about the word catechist, which comes from the Greek word, “to echo.” Choosing a name for a child or yourself is one of the most important choices that we make in life. Behind a name might lie a family story or a connection to a person of influence. A person’s name might have been inspired by an experience or a specific place. We receive a name generally […]

Love Never Fails

In the hubbub of teaching faith formation classes, living and working, trying to do the right thing, and discerning God’s will, there is the simple reality that pervades all things: “Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8). This Scripture verse haunts me as a catechist. There are two reasons why our students will remember our lessons and see our Church as their home: the love that they feel when they come to class and the gift […]

For Valentine’s Day – 6 Sure Fire Ways to Make Love Last

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I thought I would take this opportunity to share a few thoughts about LOVE on this day that celebrates this strange and wonderful reality. In particular, I’d like to share some thoughts about how to make love last since we live in a world in which love is too often seen as simply a fleeting emotion. Scripture, on the other hand, speaks of God’s love as being “an everlasting love.” Since […]

Joseph Shows the Way for this Last Week of Advent

Sometimes, our head is telling us one thing but our heart and our gut are telling us something else. This past Sunday’s Gospel tells us that St. Joseph was experiencing this inner turmoil. His betrothed, Mary, is pregnant…and he’s not the father. According to Jewish Law, she should be stoned. At the very least, he decides to quietly divorce her…it would be the righteous thing to do. And yet, something within him continues to question […]

Advent Imagination: Wouldn’t That be Great?

One of my favorite movie quotes is from Breaking Away when Daniel Stern’s character, Cyril, daydreams out loud to his buddies: “You know what I’d like to be?  A cartoon of some kind.  You know, like when they get hit in the head with a frying pan or something, and their head looks like the frying pan, with the handle and everything?  They just go boi-ing—and their head comes back to normal?  Wouldn’t that be […]

A Language of Mystery

Funny how a segue I had planned for my class this past Monday turned out to be one of the most significant moments of the entire session, thanks to one of my students and the Holy Spirit. I was seeking to introduce the concept of SIGNS and how we encounter Jesus through the signs we call the Sacraments. I invited 3 volunteers to come forward for a “contest.” I had 3 clear plastic cups on a […]

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